Following a whole series of unfortunate events, I’ve decided I should change my name to Calamity Jane.
Lockdown means that the everyday highs and lows of life have been magnified. The first disaster struck when the fridge freezer packed in, although we managed to nurse it along for its final days until its replacement could be delivered.
I’m delighted with the sleek, environmentally friendly but chilled replacement, which has seamlessly settled into our home life already; an integral part of the family.
I had just climbed down from the giddy excitement of the arrival of my new white goods when catastrophe struck again.
Our old faithful electric cooker suddenly stopped working. “I don’t believe it,” was loudly uttered in the style of Victor Meldrew.
Absolutely no heat whatsoever, despite the reassuring working fan and light, so yet another socially distanced visit was arranged, this time with an engineer and a new element.
Not since before lockdown began has my house been so crammed full of visitors. As misfortune always happens in threes I nervously wait for the fates to do their worst.
Then right on cue, no service message on all our mobile devices and even worse, when working from home and with two teenagers in the house, no wifi connection.
Really, what had I done to deserve this?
Several hours later with calm and more importantly, the internet connection restored, I’m in no mood to cook anything more taxing than beans on toast for the next few days.
So I hatch a weekend meal collection plan from the nearby Horseshoe Inn in Eddleston, just to tide us over until I can get my culinary mojo back, you understand.
I’ve not had a chance to revisit this eatery since the new owners moved in. However, they are doing great things for the community during lockdown, keeping spirits high by providing meals for villagers along with the local community council.
Afternoon tea deliveries have also been well received and a range of friends have been singing their praises.
They have also reopened their beer garden, which you can book for socially distanced boozing and a great selection of craft ales.
So a quick midweek phone call to arrange to collect our order on Saturday evening means that our exciting weekend staying-in is not ruined.
Starters selected. The fella gets to quote his favourite Ray Winston line from the film, Sexy Beast: “I’m having the calamari, wot you havin.”
It arrives appropriately battered, possibly having had a brush with Don Logan aka Ben Kingsley’s character in the movie, along with a pot of garlic mayo, and some multipurpose salad.
I’ve opted for the dainty mango and brie filo parcels which I dunk in cranberry jelly, which are not too shabby.
Whilst the eldest wean decides that an enormous sharing dish of nachos, guacamole with melted cheddar, salsa and jalapeños is the dish for her.
By the time I’ve photographed our grub, it has gone slightly cold, so I’m certainly not her flavour of the month.
The fella and I select a couple of burger options; his nibs chooses the Aberdeen Angus Steakburger with caramelised onions which comes with lettuce, tomato and burnt onion mayo and an armful of chips.
I sample the vegan option, which is a beetroot and quinoa burger, served in a deliciously toasted pretzel bun.
I detect hints of garlic, lemon, mint and spice in my pattie. The lucky fella scores second helpings in the form of some of the eldest’s leftovers – she has been unable to finish her mighty catch of the day, which she claims weighs as much as a baby.
The enormous portion of fish and chips comes served with peas and tartare sauce and a chunky wedge of lemon to squeeze all over.
Purely for review purposes we can’t resist three of the four pudding offerings. Both the sticky toffee pudding and Biscoff cheesecake receives an overall thumbs-up.
However the mango and passionfruit meringue roulade gives a disappointing first impression while being unpacked from its travelling case.
On tasting, however, the cracked meringue outer receives a tick, as does the moussey midriff and drizzling of super sweet passionfruit coulis. Overall we decide it’s sweet successes all round.
Most of the grub we sample would be no stranger to a freezer compartment, but none the worse for it.
The Horseshoe are only offering a skeleton menu during this pandemic, and if I’m honest who hasn’t resorted to that during the lockdown? I know I have.
I’m just glad my recent run of bad luck has changed, and that I didn’t drop my dinner all over the carpark.